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Why does Mumbles need an improved sea defence?

The scheme is required to protect the Mumbles community and property from flooding to benefit residents, businesses and visitors now and for future generations. Without new sea defences the risk of flooding will just keep on rising. Climate change is making sea levels rise - which means a greater chance of flooding for some people and businesses close to Mumbles seafront. An assessment has been undertaken of the condition of existing defences, expected tidal trends, environmental issues and how new defences could be built. The council evaluated a series of options and costs. As a result of that, an approach was developed for a scheme that will significantly reduce the risk of flooding over the next century. 

Who says that parts of Mumbles may flood? Where's the evidence?

It's a fact that sea levels are rising due to climate change. Research undertaken by Arup Consulting on Swansea Council's behalf in 2017 and 2018 provided evidence that a number of Mumbles properties are at risk from flooding due to sea level rises now and over the coming years. The Prom's relatively low, and it's a relatively common occurrence to experience sea water on the footway. During periods of high tides, "stop logs" are installed across openings in the car park walls that are set back from the sea wall. The average annual cost of this informal secondary flood prevention measure is around £10k. 

Does the seawall really have to be improved?

Yes! Although the council carries out ongoing maintenance, the wall's in poor condition due to its age - there are significant cracks and some exposed footings. There's a possibility that it could fail in a major storm. The existing height of the wall is also too low to prevent the anticipated incidents of water coming over the top of the defences due to climate change. A main sewer runs beneath the Prom, retained by the defences; failure of the seawall could harm the natural environment as well as homes and businesses. 

What's at risk exactly? 

Homes, businesses, community facilities, and tourism income for the area. Despite existing measures, around 79 properties have more than a one in 10 chance of tidal flooding. The ongoing rise in sea levels means this is predicted to increase over the coming decades, with predicted depths and the likelihood of flooding increasing significantly. This would sever vital access to parts of Mumbles and Mumbles Head, including the lifeboat station.

What precise area are we talking about for the work?

The scheme area extends from the slipway on the Swansea side of Verdi's to the Oystermouth Square car park. Mumbles is currently protected by two types of coastal defences; a 0.5km-long mass concrete vertical sea wall that runs from Oystermouth Square to the bowling green area and a 0.7km sloping revetment structure that runs from the bowling green area to near Verdi's. 

And what do you propose to do?

The project will combine enhanced coastal defences with improvements to the Prom right next to the main seawall. It will support the creation of a sustainable waterfront, provide an asset to the local community and an attraction for visitors. Our proposal is to:

  • bring the Prom up to one level as it currently dips gradually from both ends (Verdis and Oyster Wharf) by up to around half a metre in the middle section

  • strengthen the main structure - this could include a new vertical main wall, new sloping revetment (or a rock structure) to replace the existing sloping revetment - or a mix of those 

  • replace existing railings with a low pedestrian wall similar to that currently at the Oystermouth Square car park; it would be topped with a handrail

The aim is to be sensitive to Mumbles as a seaside visitor destination while protecting people and property.

How have the dimensions been calculated?

To determine the necessary height of the primary defence, modelling has been completed by Imperial College London.

One of Mumbles USP is its sea view from the Prom - won't that be affected?

No! The proposal is that you'll still be able to walk, cycle, play and skate between Knab Rock and the Oystermouth Square car park with panoramic views of Swansea Bay. Yes, the plan is to replace railings with walls - but these walls will be of modest height and will protect the people, businesses and facilities at times when flooding could otherwise occur. Our proposal is to have hand rails on the walls.

Won't all this have a knock-on effect for parking?

Several hundred parking spaces will remain in the Mumbles seafront area. The position of parking spaces will change, offering improved sea views for pedestrians and cyclists. This was approved as part of the planning process.

During the construction work where can motorists park in Mumbles?


Motorists can still use the Dairy Car Park (opposite the Mumtaz restaurant on Mumbles Rd), the Oystermouth Square Car Park (opposite the White Rose and Dark Horse) and the upper level of the Quarry Car Park (off Mumbles Rd, opposite the Dairy Car Park). These are close to the prom, Newton Road and Oyster Wharf. 

Before work starts on the sea wall itself, additional permanent on-street parking bays are being created along Mumbles Road, next to Southend Gardens. 

Over the course of the scheme, some parking bays will be moved - in a phased manner - from locations such as the Foreshore Car Park, Promenade Terrace and Southend Car Park to neighbouring locations on and around Mumbles Road. 

Knab Rock Car Park remains open and accessible throughout as do privately operated car parks in Oystermouth Square and at Mumbles Pier.

Roadside parking is available in Mumbles. Business and homes remain open and accessible. Local residents, organisations and businesses are being kept informed.

The work is part of our sea defences project which will protect homes and businesses from flooding and rising sea levels. During the work contractors will do all they can to minimise road delays.

During the construction work, how can people get to and from Mumbles?

Existing traffic routes into Mumbles remain unaffected with, minimal disruption expected.

In the areas along the prom where live work is being undertaken, pedestrians and cyclists will be diverted off the prom for short distances. Diversions will be clearly marked and signposted. Cyclists may be required to dismount through the short diverted areas for safety reasons - or to use the road to continue their journey. 

The Swansea Bay Rider Land Train is expected to operate with a slightly shortened route into Mumbles, terminating in the vicinity of the Dairy Car Park (opposite the Mumtaz restaurant on Mumbles Rd).

Road routes from locations in and around Bishopston remain open - as do those from the Swansea direction. Car parking, businesses and homes remain open and accessible.

What'll happen to the boats that park on the Prom?


We understand that owners of any boats currently at the boat storage area have been contacted, and arrangements have been made by SCC to have them removed.

What impact will we notice in the local area while the scheme is being constructed?


There will be heavy goods deliveries arriving daily. These will be either into the quarry or direct to the Southend Slipway area. Deliveries will be managed by providing a holding area remote from the site, and they will be called into Mumbles outside peak traffic times. There will be heavy plant working on the foreshore, including the installation of sheet piles by vibration and some demolition to parts of the existing wall.

Will the promenade be closed during the works?

Sections of the promenade will be closed whilst the works progress, but there will always be an alternative route for pedestrians and cyclists. Depending on the seawall's progress, multiple sections may be closed at any one time.   

Will access be maintained on to the beach during the works?

During working hours, access to the slipways and the working areas adjacent to the wall will not be available. We will maintain as many access points as we can provide safely, and access to the rest of the beach will be unrestricted.

Will the prom stay the same width?

Up to now the prom has been varying widths, meaning pinch points where it has narrowed substantially. We plan to make it a consistent width so that everybody can use the prom with a share with care approach; this includes families with children who want to play, cyclists and those with mobility issues. This was approved as part of the planning process.

Will  you be changing the area around Hennebont Gardens?

A green area will remain. It will be remodelled to offer improved coastal defences and sea views for the public. This was approved as part of the planning process.

How will these works impact local businesses?

Oystermouth and Dairy car parks will not be affected by the works, so we would not envisage a negative effect on local businesses. The promenade diversions will direct more footfall onto Mumbles road and directly past the shops.

When will construction work begin?

Enabling works will begin towards the end of January, with construction work starting in February 2023.  The planned completion of the scheme will be Summer of 2024.

Whom can we contact if we have any questions or queries relating to the project?
If you have any questions or queries relating to the project, you can contact our dedicated community liaison team via email at or via telephone on 07818 432183. Our team on-site are also always happy to answer questions.

We will also continue our regular drop-in sessions should you want to discuss a particular matter in person.

During the construction work will there be extra traffic disruption in and around Mumbles?

We are working alongside the council to avoid any significant adverse impact on traffic - and to minimise any disruption. There may be times where some road delays are caused due to deliveries of construction materials and so on. However, this is expected to be kept to a minimum and we aim to keep such movements away from peak hours. 

Road routes from locations in and around Bishopston remain open - as do those from the Swansea direction. Car parking, businesses and homes remain open and accessible.

Will you restore the tennis courts to a usable condition once the work is complete?


The tennis courts are being used temporarily as a compound for this essential sea defence work. Their proximity to the prom helps us minimise movements on local roads. Our agreement with Swansea is that, once the work’s complete next year, the courts will be returned to Swansea Council. They're investing around £30m - with the Welsh Government - to upgrade the sea defences, creating a new promenade in the process. It’s therefore important that they consult with the wider community – including Mumbles businesses, residents and visitors - best to understand their needs and wishes for this site. 


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